My division fight was sad. The kid started out just like his videos. Jumping around all over the place. It was hard to focus he was so spastic. He shot for a single. Almost caught me, but I sprawled and we went out of bounds. Reset and he shot again. This time before the clench. I don't know the name of the move, but it's the same takedown that Q (NOLA BJJ wrestling coach) taught when I was in New Orleans last time. Basically a quick level change and collapse on an ankle. Professor Antonio thought I gave up the take down too easily. He's probably right. Landed on my back in a modified butterfly guard. I began to look for spider grips and improve my guard but it didn't take him too long to shut me down and work a pass. I recovered part of a guard and he passed again. I'm down 8-0 at this point and couldn't recover guard. I decided to wait for an opportunity to bail to turtle and try to recover guard from there. Got to turtle, but he took my back. I almost escaped, but he set the hooks again. I think I was down 16-0 he found the collar and caught me with a bow and arrow at around the 5min mark. Not sure why I didn't look at the score after the loss. Still seeing stars from the choke, I suppose. The kid weighed in at 193 so I had about 15lbs on him. Presumably he fought in the Super Heavy division because his team already had a competitor in the Medium Heavy and no one in Super. It was a good strategy because he ended up getting silver (he lost 12-2 in the final).
My "aggro" opponent.
Division observations/lessons? First, I'm not an aggressive fighter. The kid came in charging. Faster, stronger, and more determined. I didn't have a response for that. I either need to ramp up my aggression or figure out how to deal with hyper aggressive opponents. Second, I missed a couple opportunities early in the match (post-take down) but chose not to burn the energy with 4-5 minutes left in the fight. I honestly wasn't worried at this point and had no idea I was about to get destroyed. Hindsight being what it is, I should have worked harder to improve my open guard position before he had a chance to work his pass game. Guard is my bread and butter. I didn't fight hard enough to implement my game. Third, I need to work on fundamental guard recovery from side control. The lazy route to turtle has been fine in training, but it's not a good habit. Oh...and about those tons of holes in my opponent's game that I noticed from watching his videos? Well, I learned that my holes are much, much bigger. :-)
The Open class fight went better. They paired me with a beast of a guy who won three fights to take gold in the Heavy division. An inch or two shorter than me, but said he weighed in at 207. Although I have a couple pounds on him, I'm a fat slob in comparison. He shocked the snot out of me by pulling guard. I kept on my feet and broke his guard open immediately. I began to set up a pass and he went berimbolo. I stuffed it and he found his way back to closed guard. I trapped his right arm, stood up, and opened his guard. He went back to berimbolo. Stuffed it again. This time he changed it up and went for another sweep. I really have no idea what he did. Next thing I know I fell back and I immediately started to defend from my side in modified turtle. It didn't take him long to get my back. Down 6-0 and it didn't take him long to sink the bow and arrow. He defeated his next opponent by kimura within a minute. I didn't stick around to watch the semi-final, but my guess is he did pretty well. He's extremely strong, has very good hip movement, and is highly technical for a Blue. Perfect storm.
Open class observations/lessons? First, I need to work transitions between guard opening and guard pass set up. I felt like each time I opened his guard, he was ready to transition to a sweep set up before I was ready to transition to a guard pass. Had I been quicker on the transition, I may have avoided the sweep and possibly passed his guard. Or at least improved to half guard. Second, my instinct after the sweep was to turn away from him to turtle and not turn into him to establish half or open guard. Just like training. Third, as he started taking my back I didn't try hard enough to prevent the points. I saw an opportunity to escape, but didn't execute.
w/ Professor Antonio before the drive back home
Overall negative: I'm a lazy competitor. Far too lazy. Some really bad training habits have carried over into competition. I need to fix those. Not that I need to train harder. Just smarter. Don't bail to turtle anymore. Fight the sweeps and guard passes harder. If I end up under side control, stick it out in the bad positions and work for a proper escape and guard recovery. Finally, I need help with bow and arrow escapes. I can't recall the last time I tapped to bow and arrow. My go-to escapes proved ineffective in competition. Need to revisit/refine existing escapes and learn a couple more.
Professor Antonio - Adult, Black, Heavy Champ!
Grappling X on Sunday. Double elimination. 30+ grouped together. Assuming I take third or better (by win or default), I'll get four fights between division and open class. Still have to cut 7lbs or so by Saturday morning weigh-in. This week won't be fun, but I can do it. I'm already looking forward to a post weigh-in sushi feast.